Missing man ‘has got to be there somewhere’
A FORMER top cop at Tamborine Mountain who spent years trying to find missing man Jesse Kearney says he is devastated there has been no breakthrough.
"I told (mum Joanne Nicholson) I'd find him and I haven't," Sergeant Mick Jones told the Coroners Court at Southport on Wednesday.
Sgt Jones told the inquest he believed Mr Kearney, 28, had likely fallen from a cliff face into thick bushland while drug-affected after being frightened by a dog on a nearby property.
But "numerous" searches of the area following Mr Kearney's disappearance on February 19, 2015 as cyclonic winds hit, have only found boardshorts linked to the Nerang man.
Mr Kearney was last seen at Tamborine, jumping in front of cars and running to and from properties in an agitated state, which police have linked to him taking methamphetamines (ice).
"I still believe that he's there," Sgt Jones said. "It hurts that I haven't found him and I feel devastated for his mum and the family. I'm sure of it, he's got to be there somewhere.
"Wish I had my own rappelling gear because I would have been able to go back at anytime and just hop in myself and try another spot.
"We're all still quite upset about it, the boys that are involved, because we want to find Jesse."
Sgt Jones returned to search after the official operation closed to "get some closure" for the family and himself, with no luck.
He told the inquest searches are called off when "you've tried everything" and it's no longer safe or reasonable to continue.
Police speaking at the inquest have not added weight to rumours among friends and associates that Mr Kearney was abducted or killed over a supposed drug debt, or similar issue.
Senior Constable Brendan Edwards said the theories were "not supported by any evidence".
The inquest continues.
Originally published as Missing man 'has got to be there somewhere'